Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 27, 2005)
Never ones to let a popular trend pass them by, America’s most famous girlie magazine capitalizes on the success of Desparate Housewives with their newest DVD, Playboy’s Hottest Housewives. The program uses a format that’s become standard for this type of Playboy piece. It takes on a pseudo-documentary feel as it shows the models while they pose for the cameras.
Hottest features 12 women. This group starts with Wendy Drinkwater (31 years old from Rhode Island) and progresses through Angi Yangas (25, Illinois), Laura Grillo (25, Pennsylvania), Tamara Martinez (31, California), Cristina Bazan (33, California), Angie Marton (24, Arizona), Heidi Hanson (24, North Carolina), Tami Paz (35, Arizona), Kathy Sander (37, Iowa), Loree Bischoff (43, Arizona), Sondra Holloway (31, Michigan) and Michelle Baena (32, California).
As we watch the models pose, they also chat about themselves. They talk about their family lives, their kids, and other personal elements. In addition, we hear from some Playboy personnel. We get notes from photographers Arny Freytag and George Georgiou, photography director Gary Cole, and senior photo editor Kevin Kuster.
Here’s what I learned about housewives from this product:
1) Many housewives aren’t actually housewives. By definition, a housewife is supposed to be a married woman who doesn’t have work outside the home. Half of the models here aren’t married; they range from never wed to separated to divorced. Most of them have jobs as well.
All have children, but bearing offspring doesn’t make one a housewife. Pretty sure the “wife” part of that means you have to be married. Why not make this Magnificent MILFs instead of Hottest Housewives? Because “MILFs” doesn’t connect to the most popular show on TV, that’s why. I realize I’m griping about semantics here, but it bugs me.
2) Housewives love silicon. Not a single one of the show’s 12 models sports her original breasts. Granted, I know that breast-feeding messes with that area, but there must be some good-looking moms out there with her natural equipment. Some of the fake boobs look better than others, but I find it disheartening that this program goes 100 percent artificial.
3) Bearing children ages you badly. One of the models is in her early forties, but many of the others look like they’re in that age bracket. I thought many of the models seemed oddly weathered given their actual youth.
Surely with all the housewives in the country, Playboy could have rounded up a better crop than this. Not that everything’s a disappointment. Despite her implants, I really liked Grillo. She was easily the class of the crop, as she was very beautiful and sexy.
Otherwise, none of the models stood out in a positive way to me. I don’t want to sound overly critical and attack the women. I simply thought they weren’t up to usual Playboy standards. It probably doesn’t help that the first two models – Drinkwater and Yangas – are two of the most annoying women to ever appear in a Playboy program. Drinkwater is whiny and obnoxious, and not the brightest bulb either; when asked for three words to describe herself, she replies, “I’m a hot little French fry.” Honey, that’s more than three words – and it’s a bizarre phrase to boot.
Yangas is actually quite pretty, but she has a frighteningly low voice. She’s also much more impressed with her personality than I am. She fancies herself as a dynamic jokester, but she’s really just annoying. None of the others come across as this irritating or off-putting – with the exception of Grillo, they simply aren’t very impressive.
The format doesn’t help. This whole pseudo-documentary style is getting very old. Some programs balance it better than others. As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, the Women of Starbucks DVD is excellent. It mixes scenes of the photo shoots with candid moments of the women in different scenarios. Of course, Starbucks succeeds largely because it provides a terrific roster of models, but the format also doesn’t shoot itself in the foot; the various elements add up to a satisfying combination of photo shoots and personal situations.
Housewives lacks that mix, as it focuses exclusively on the photo shoots. These become tedious, and the photographic style makes things worse. The camera moves constantly and threatens to make us nauseous. I suppose this is an attempt to add life to the product, but it simply comes across as chaotic and distracting.
Ultimately, Playboy’s Hottest Housewives is a major disappointment. I usually like these “Women of…” products, but this one presents a lackluster roster of models and few interesting scenarios. It’s not an interesting piece.